Thursday, March 21, 2013

Their mama's a pole-dancer...

Yup. It's true. I'm heading proudly into level three in a few short weeks. My kids love to inform random people that I pole dance.  And Boy-o asked me last night when *he* could take pole-dance lessons.  (Both of which I heartily enjoy.)

One of the most wonderful things about my dance progression is the way my self-image has grown exponentially during my pole-dancing. I am amazed at the ways I'm learning to move, at the new muscles on my stomach (at least I think they're somewhere in there), biceps and my shoulders. Seriously. My shoulders are getting kinda ripped. It's bleeping wild. I, who have never been able to do even the tiniest hint of a chin-up, can now pull my body off the ground on that pole. I can do spins.  More than one. (And no - the pole doesn't move.) And sometimes, I catch a glimpse of myself in the multitude of mirrors in the studio and think, well, I look a little less like I'm wildly flailing and a bit more like I'm actually, you know, dancing.

But one of my absolute favourite parts of dance class happens before my body even starts to move. It's the ten minutes after I arrive of watching the class before me perform. The end of every class has something called "community pole". It's the anxiety provoking part where we have to strut our stuff in front of everyone. Terrifying, friends. And also totally fucking exhilarating (I have, it seems, an inner exhibitionist). The class before me happens to be the level 6 or 7 class - and these women are amazing, flabbergasting, sinuous, strong, stunning, and sexy as all hell (and how's that for some alliterative glory?). Their community pole dance is always set to "Stay" by Rihanna. Last week, I was literally moved to tears watching them, and caught myself letting out involuntary gasps of sheer adulation. My very favourite dancer is a 50 year old woman, she told me this, almost apologetically (as if this was supposed to be old and as if she thought she didn't measure up). I wanted to blurt out how amazing her body moved but also didn't want to sound, you know, creepy. But her poise and strength as she navigates that pole is just fucking breathtaking. I'm quite certain she rocks that pole in a way that I never will.  I wish everyone on the planet could see it. Maybe someday, when I've gotten much, much better and created the rad queer +, body +, gender and age non-specific pole troupe that currently only lives in my imagination, I'll convince her to join....

In the meantime, everytime I hear this beautiful song (which has always made me teary), I will think of her.

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